Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack/Choudwar, Jan 21:
In yet another instances of the rank audacity of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, ruling party goons snatched away copies of leading Odia newspaper ‘Sambad’ and ‘Dharitiri’ at Choudwar in Cuttack district on Monday.
The incident took place at about 6.30 AM.
According to reports, as soon as the vehicle carrying the copies of ‘Sambad’ and ‘Dharitri’ arrived at the designated place in the market area at Choudwar for distribution among the readers, about 12 BJD supporters arrived at the spot and forcibly took away the copies of these two vernacular dailies from the vehicle.
Among those who perpetrated the crime were Dilip Sahu, councilor of ward no-7, Nikunja Kishore Samal (husband of vice chairperson of Choudwar NAC and councilor of ward no-6 Manasi Swarnaprava Samal) and Prashant Das (husband of councilor of ward no-8 Suprava Behera)
While the incident triggered widespread resentment among the people in the area, newspaper hawkers and distributors staged a dharna protesting the highhandedness of the BJD supporters.
Following information, a police team led by ACP Trinath Mishra and IIC of Choudwar police station Ajay Das rushed to the spot and pacified the agitators.
Later, two separate FIRs were lodged by Kailash Sahani, Sambad’s Choudwar reporter and Satyabrata Das, local reporter of Dharitri, with the Choudwar police station.
According to sources, the annual function of Choudwar College was scheduled to begin at 10.30 AM on Sunday for which the college authorities had invited local BJD MLA Pravat Biswal as the chief guest. Besides, scribes from several print and television media were also invited to attend the function.
But as the arrival of Biswal was delayed by over one-and-half hours, the two local reporters of Sambad and Dharitri wanted to know the cause for the delay in his arrival.
At this, Kunja Bihari Jena, former principal of the college, who was present there, rebuked both the reporters and asked them to leave the place at once.
Reliable sources said that a top BJD leader, in the meanwhile, had asked the police and the district administration not to take action against the party workers who were involved in the incident.